Duck, duck, goose

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Melanie and Bill Jones of Coal Grove received the gift that keeps on giving, or at least keeps coming back.

In the spring of 2000, Melanie's mother purchased two little goslings from Cooke's Farm Center in Ironton.

She continued to raise them in her home until they outgrew her bathtub, at which point she gave them to her daughter, Melanie Jones, and her husband Bill.

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The couple took the geese home and named them Flim and Flam. The two immediately became a fixture in the Jones' home.

Each morning, Flim, he male, would climb six steps on to the Jones' front deck and peck on the door with his bill to announce it was time for breakfast.

But even with all of the cute stuff, geese can be mischievous.

"Geese, by nature, are pretty vicious," Melanie said. "We ended up having to give them away when I could no longer outrun them from the car to the front door. They like to chase."

The Jones' gave the geese to a family friend in the Portsmouth area, who said he never saw them again once he took them home and let them out of his truck.

Bill Jones was crossing the Jessie Stewart bridge in to Greenup, Ky, in September of 2001 when he noticed two very familiar looking geese down by the river with a couple of new friends. Bill said two of them watched his truck pass the whole time he was on the bridge and he just knew it was Flim and Flam.

One year later, Bill and Melanie noticed the geese at Buster's Bi-Lo in Coal Grove. "I was washing my car at D & M car wash and they just kept coming toward me. I think they recognized my car. It's like they treat it like their mother," said Melanie. When I called out their names, they answered to them and I knew it was them."

Old habits die hard and it's no different with geese. Flim had been in the routine of pecking on doors to get his food and he continues to do much of the same.

"They miss a day or two every now and then, but not very often," said Grady Runyon, a manager at Buster's. You have to watch them, because if the door's is open, they'll come right there in the doorway and start honking at you."

The geese seem to be a hit with the community as well. "You wouldn't believe the people who pull off the road in to the lot just to look at (them)," said Runyon.

The Jones'

still stop in at Buster's and check on the geese from time to time and would like to have them come back home.

"We can feed Flim and Flam right out of our hands but the other two don't respond as well,"Melanie said.

Melanie tends to believe the two new geese are Flim and Flam's new family. "The other two look really young," said Melanie. We would love to bring them home, but I'm not sure we could catch them now. They've been at the truck stop for months now and they seem content there. If they'd come just a couple more miles, they would be home."

"Maybe they've been trying to come home this whole time. Who knows," Melanie said. "It's really kind of a sweet love story."